Thursday, February 6, 2014

David's Guide to the Winter Olympics

So literally nothing else is on and you've stumbled upon watching the Winter Olympics. We're weeks away from Sweeps (does that even really happen anymore?) and it's six more weeks of god-awful winter with most of us already living in a state of emergency, so how about we make ourselves more miserable by watching the grossly unnecessary reboot of the real Olympics, known as the Winter Games?

Here's the thing. The Summer Olympics, they're fucking cool. Because here's the main difference: every Summer Olympic sport, are just sports. You can do them anywhere. You could be living in the most isolated, third world country that has only winter year-round, with darkness covering the land 23 hours of the day, and you could still make it on to an Olympic team from that country at the Summer games with something like Weightlifting or Archery. The Winter Games (with the exception of a couple inexplicable "sports") are entirely based around the necessity of winter.  Also, the really interesting sports to watch (not good, just interesting to watch) take place inside! You can make ice rinks that can hold several of the sports indoors, which means you can have them during the summer! And also, also, just to make it all seem worthwhile, the Winter Games features a bloated 15 events, when really you could narrow it to 7.

We're gonna talk about the quality and worth of all of them as we rank, from worst to best:
The 15 Olympic Events of the Winter Games

Also, side note before we begin:
Russia, stop being a dick.


15.) Cross-Country Skiing
Literally, the coolest this sport will ever look.
How It Was Invented: Somebody standing on a hill goes, "I wish I could do this ski thing where it's flat! How I hate inherent momentum!"
Who Invented It: Some fuck who thought, "You know what'd be cool? If that cool event, the Marathon, could happen slowly.
Why Watch It: I mean, really, no one watches the entire Marathon either, this is watching a race with no sense of drama. So no, there's no reason.


14.) Biathlon
The firing squad is skiing into position now. Say your prayers, Mr. Bond.
How They Invented It: The Nordic Combined had already been invented and mashed up skiing with... more skiing. So let's combine it with a completely unrelated winter skill that's also not a winter skill.
Who Invented It: Obviously, a redneck who saw snow for the first time and thought, "This makes me want to shoot things."
How to Improve It: Live targets, of course. Bears. And you're skiing and shooting at the same time. Because you're escaping.


13.) Short Track Speed Skating
They're actually just stuck there.
Why Does This Exist: No really, why is this a separate sport? We already have the other one. Let's take a page out of the Summer Olympics' book, guys. They have a sport called "Athletics." What does that combine? All the metre track runs, plus the runs with hurdles, relays, race walks, high, triple, and long jumps, pole vault, shot put, discus, javelin, and hammer throws, and the Marathon itself! Sprint, or relay, five laps or one, we all agree that running is running. Backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle, swimming is swimming. Short track speed skating is speed skating.


12.) Speed Skating
Everyone complains that when this is done by cars, it looks boring. But these guys won't explode.
How You Know This Was Invented Last: It's impressive to be able to do all these things while also skating, such as doing tricks or playing a game of focus, accuracy, and intensity. But let's take everything out that's interesting about ice skating and everybody just go as fast as they can. Just go. Just. Fucking. Go. You know what'd be better, if they had a winter NASCAR, and just raced the Zambonis.


11.) Alpine Skiing
Stupid, stupid, sexy, sexy Flanders. Flanders.
Why Everyone Calls It the Wrong Thing and Why It Doesn't Matter: People usually simply call it downhill skiing, because that's what it is, and more accurately, it's skiing, because the other version of skiing is dumb. Also, it should just be downhill skiing, because no one knows or cares what a slalom is. P.S., it's the same.


10.) Nordic Combined
I love cool skiing combined with awful skiing.
You Know What the Winter Olympics Needs More Of: Skiing. So let's combine a skiing event with another skiing event, because skis! That's literally all you can fucking do in this fucking winter.


9.) Curling
I mean, the main reason to watch are all the stylin' pants.
Curling, a Great Sport, or the Greatest Sport: It's easily the weirdest sport, that's for sure.
How It Was Invented: It's like someone wanted to play Bocce but in the dead of winter. When balls. Can't. Roll? If you played it with balls, it would just be bowling, and it would no longer need a curling team.
You'd just have Winter Bowling! Ice Pins! Snowling Balls! Ice Obstacles! ...Icestacles!


8.) Ski Jump
Most important bit of information is telling me where a ramp stops. 
Why We Watch: You know this is the one everyone's watching to see someone eat it, badly. But see how exciting skiing is when momentum gets added in?


7.) Snowboarding
Most impressive is how they're doing this without helmets.
You Know What Doesn't Make Sense: The Disney Channel Original Movie Johnny Tsunami is about a Hawaiian surfer learning to snowboard. There's a sequel, that's actually about surfing, but the first movie, with a title containing a titular character based on a surfing name, is about snowboarding. What the hell is going on?
...What were we talking about?


6.) Freestyle Skiing
The traditional freestyle salute: x-ing your skis.
How It Was Invented: "Guys, we need skiing to be more exciting, so how about people actually try and do something interesting while they're skiing? Great."
Is There a Better Name: Ski Flips. Shred Skiing. Ski Ski Revolution.


5.) Bobsleigh
Don't make me turn this tub around!
Most Sexist Thing About the Sport: One of the events is called the "two-man women's bobsleigh."
Most Sexiest Thing About the Sport: I mean, it's why we all ride the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland, right? In eighth grade, it was the closest we'd get to a lap dance for a bit.


4.) Luge
Caught mid-luge, everyone just looks panicked.
How It Was Invented: Someone must've said, "Hey guys, you don't need all those guys in the bobsled. Take 'em out." Then after an afternoon of watching empty sleds slide through a track, someone said, "Okay, we'd better have one person go back in."
How To Make It Better: Again, just save us some time and make Luge and Skeleton a single sport. They're the same, except the latter is unbelievably dangerous, and the former is something we all basically did in kindergarten at recess.


3.) Skeleton
This squirrel has no idea he's about to die.
How It Got Its Name: The Luge, except face first, so if you fuck up, you're a skeleton.
The Only Way This Could Be Better: If every track was like a Sonic the Hedgehog track, and the skeletoner has to collect rings.


2.) Figure Skating
Pretty sure she's dead, and he's just dragging her across the ice.
Reasons to Watch: Chances are, this is the only event you will ever see of the Winter Olympiad. That's because it gets the prime real estate on broadcast channels, and it's way easier to advertise on the sides of the ice rink than it is to advertise on a flimsy flag on the slalom (still don't know if I'm using that right).
When It Stopped Being Cool: Same as Gymnastics for the Summer Games, in the late 90s, when all the scoring changed, and all the routines started to look the same because no one was cool or exciting or innovative anymore, they were all just really good at being told exactly what to put in to their routines.


1.) Hockey
Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack. Duck.
Reasons to Watch: It's the only actual sport on this list. Strategy, focus, fast-paced action, an objective scoring system, skill, precision, and passion.
Reasons Not to Watch: I mean, most of the time, I literally cannot see the puck on television. The whole game looks like they're playing Smear the Queer. (Are we still allowed to say that?) (Slalom?)